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EU lifts embargo over arms to Syrian opposition


Belgium

EU lifts embargo over arms to Syrian opposition

There has been a seismic political shift in Brussels over Syria.

EU foreign ministers, meeting in the Belgian capital, failed to reach agreement on extending arms sanctions in Syria, effectively ending the bloc’s ban on arming the Syrian opposition.

UK Foreign Minister William Hague is among those determined to end the embargo.

“This decision today gives us the flexibility in the future to respond to a worsening situation and the refusal of the Assad regime to negotiate.”

Others, though, think words and not weapons are the way forward.

“For me the objective is Geneva and not the embargo. The real question is what Europe can do standing together to promote the diplomatic and political conference in Geneva and to push for the conference to happen” said Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino.

Our correspondent at the summit Charles-Charbel Salamé said from August 1, EU member states will have the option to send weapons to the Syrian opposition if there is no positive outcome from the planned peace talks in Geneva.

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